There’s a lot of consensus that Raith’Marid is the best champion. I tend to agree. He’s crazy fast, highly durable, elite at repositioning enemies, and surprisingly able to delete things.
Still, Raith has not ruined my enjoyment of Godtear in the way that overpowered stuff has ruined other games. Raith is ahead of the curve, for sure, but he’s not really broken. He arguably isn’t even an auto-include in your three champion lineup. He has only the fourth best winning percentage on BattleLadder (54%) and is inactive on rosters roughly 30% of the time. In the public data on the Slam Jam tournament thus far, Raith has a 6-4 record. Keep in mind that this is a format wherein only one player can have Raith. There’s likely more data from that tournament coming out soon, so stay tuned. The point is that Raith is advantageous to have, but not overwhelmingly so.
It’s a testament to how well balanced this game is that the consensus top champion does not break the game. I’m not convinced that he needs to be changed. Maybe it’s ok that there is a top champion.
That said, Raith is certainly a champion you need to plan for. A while back, I wrote this article about how to play into Raith. Today, I still stand by most of what I wrote there. The one thing I would change is the bit where I say that you don’t want to target Raith that much. This is true sometimes, but it can also be immensely rewarding to just beat the soggy dragon to a pulp. This (like everything) depends a lot on scenario and on which champions you have at your disposal. In a recent tournament game, I killed Raith three times. It was every bit as satisfying as it sounds.
What I did not address at all in my previous article was how to counter-pick into Raith. That’s what this article is for.
Here are some options for counter-picking against Raith. Four of them have worked reasonably well for me. One of them is pure speculation. Enjoy.
Lorsann - Mystic arrow is brutal for Raith when he is sitting at Dodge 2 - it’s about 80% to hit at that point. Two five dice damage rolls means that you have a solid chance to spike and that you’ll clear an armor boon before the second damage roll. If your damage rolls are about average, you’re looking at 2-3 damage, which is very solid. It’s also trivial to ping another damage onto Raith with Piercing Shot. The rangers, if Field Instructed, are then in a nice position to chip more into Raith off as they’ll be rolling 6 dice into armor 3. As long as Raith is sitting on 2 or fewer wounds by the end of this, you can use Lorsann’s ultimate to dispatch him in the plot phase. Raith hates dying in the plot phase. Lorann’s snipe is also very good at removing splashlings. The danger with this counterpick is that Raith can kill Lorsann fairly easily, so the game will be to use your long ranges and proper positioning to keep Raith at bay. It can be done.
Halftusk - Raith will lose a straight up brawl with Halftusk. The big troll has too much staying power. Even better, Halftusk has the high-accuracy attacks needed to kill splashlings. The Froglodytes also offer some counterplay into Raith’s teleportation game. The obvious way that they do this is by sitting on hexes in Raith’s path. The less obvious way is by licking puddles. Since Raith has to jump from a splashling, Tongue Lash gives you the opportunity to counterplay by pulling a splashling away from where Raith might want it to be. It’s sometimes counterintuitive to get the Froglodytes behind their target since the usual instinct is to use followers to block off lanes. Still, at speed 3 in the clash phase, the frog-dee-lights can usually get where they need to be. You’ll generally want to use at least two of them in order to make the attack go off reliably. Still, the investment can be worth it to save a banner.
UPDATE: Nah. Don't take Halftusk. Take Keera.
Grimgut - Raith can jump all over the board, but unless he is using his ultimate, he can’t jump directly onto your banner. Splashlings have a great, versatile place effect, but they can’t go onto objective hexes. Grimgut specializes in blocking off approaches, so if you can bubble wrap a perimeter with gross vomit thingies, Raith cannot jump in and get your banner. Grimgut also has a very accurate attack which does not care if the Splashings have copied the dodge boon. The little water elementals are just a nice, low-calorie option for our chonky boy. The Retchlings are also a nice unit for backstopping if you anticipate a Tsunami. Raith will eventually kill Grimgut, but his attacks will probably take too long to chew through nine wounds. The downside is that Grimgut’s thematic concept is nonsensical and disgusting, but you do what you have to do.
Rangosh - If Rangosh starts his clash phase with some bandit food and is within 2 hexes of Raith, he can probably make some things happen. By using whiplash first, Rangosh can strip away Raith’s boons while still doing damage and bringing the soggy snake in for the Jawbreaker. Raith is probably going to take 4-7 damage over the course of both attacks. That’s usually not enough damage to kill a fully healthy Raith in a single activation. It will, however, reliably finish him off if he has already been chipped away at somewhat. The hit effect of Jaw Breaker means that a kill shot allows you to move Raith three hexes instead of two when he dies. That’s subtly monstrous since it allows you to separate him from his splashlings a bit. Rangosh has enough health and dodginess that Raith can’t really commit to this fight, so Rangosh offers some subtle area denial into this matchup.
Rattlebone - Ok, I admit, this one is just conjecture. I never really use Rattlebone, so take this one with a massive grain of salt. Still, I think the possibility exists that she could play well into Raith. Rolling the bones is tough in the abstract because usually you want blanks, but if you’re out there hunting Raith, there will always be a boon to steal if you can stay close. Since you roll the bones at the end of the activation, you can use Rattlebone’s speed to get in RtB range of a splashling. Deadly Curse is the kind of low accuracy, high damage attack that is efficient against Raith. Calling totems can seal off areas in a way that is similar to Grimgut’s New Spew. Even Cursed Ground (often ignored) can prevent Splashings from moving onto particular hexes and thus increase the distance between a Kersplash target and a banner. After typing all that, I think I’ve talked myself into at least giving it a try.